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Posted: September 26, 2019

Industry asked to remain cautious about open burning

The BC Wildfire Service reminds its industry partners to use caution when carrying out industrial and high-risk activities, since the Southeast Fire Centre is experiencing a heightened number of Category 3 incidents.

Since April 1, the Southeast Fire Centre has responded to 158 wildfires, about 32% being human caused. The fire danger rating in the Southeast Fire Centre is predominantly “low.” However, anyone conducting an open burn must stay vigilant and burn responsibly while following all burn regulations.

Anyone planning to conduct an open burn in the Southeast Fire Centre must check the local venting index before starting to burn. The Venting Index must be “good” on the day the fire is lit and “good” or “fair” on the following day. The index is available online.

Use safe burning practices:

* Create a fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.

* Never leave a fire unattended.

* Make sure the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Pay attention to the Fire Danger Class rating, ensure that the appropriate weather station data for the area has been referenced and adhere to the shutdown formulas outlined in the province’s Wildfire Regulation.

The Fire Danger Class ratings are available online.

Anyone planning to conduct a Category 3 burn must obtain an active burn registration number ahead of time (at no charge) by calling 1 888 797-1717. The description of a Category 3 burn is available online.

Burn registration numbers are entered in the Open Fire Tracking System, which allows the BC Wildfire Service to track open burning activity throughout the province.

Quick detection is crucial for the BC Wildfire Service to provide timely wildfire response. The ministry appreciates the continued efforts of the forest industry and other stakeholders regarding wildfire prevention, response and reporting.

Due to this ongoing co-operation and the efforts of fire suppression crews, many wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre are detected early and extinguished during the initial attack phase. However, these fires also serve as reminders that companies and contractors need to be cautious when conducting their operations.

Anyone seeing or causing a wildfire is obligated to report it, take action with available resources and extinguish the fire if it is practicable to do so. Industrial operations must be carried out in accordance with the Wildfire Act and the Wildfire Regulation.

This bulletin is provided for general information only and is not to be used for operational planning or to make operational decisions. Always remember to use the appropriate weather station (with appropriate calculations as necessary) for the area.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

Lead image: A Category 3 burn. BC Wildfire Service photo

Southeast Fire Centre

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